Jeph Jerman / Tim Barnes – Matterings


CD – Erstwhile

There was not much in Jeph Jerman’s formative musical years suggestive of an abstract and experimental approach. Percussionist and sound designer Tim Barnes’ early work as part of the New York avant-jazz and indie rock scenes also didn’t seem to fit easily into the conceptual, rarefied bracket that has come more clearly into focus in recent times. With interest now more directed towards composition, sound design and audio-archivism, this release for Erstwhile records nonchalantly sidesteps the articulation of precise and determinate ideas. This undoubtedly ethereal record is both dreamy and musical, telling minimalist stories through sparse, polymorphic field recordings, atmospheric emanations, screeching metals, rain drops and ticking noises. There are acute sine waves and low vibrations, alongside hissing, chirping and other seemingly insignificant audio emergencies that nevertheless capture our attention. Some purists may not like this particularly processed and “aesthetic” manner of juxtaposing and manipulating the captures but the result is never out of register, conveying a musical project that is both articulate and driven, a realization of a precise compositional approach overflowing with materials and “atypical” ideas. A sense of lightness is maintained with free form narratives unravelling over basic structures, resulting in a work both exciting and sumptuous.


Experimedia – Jeph Jerman / Tim Marnes – Matterings (shop excerpts)